Devin Townsend Confirms He Once Turned Down The Chance To Audition For Judas Priest

During a recent interview on “The SDR Show,” Devin Townsend confirmed that he was offered a chance to audition for Judas Priest in the 1990s. However, he ultimately declined the offer.

Townsend said the following:

“Technically, yes, that happened, but it wasn’t like they were knocking down my door. Basically, they threw out a blanket thing to a bunch of singers — Warrel [Dane] from NEVERMORE, myself, a couple of other people. It [came in the form of] a letter with the [JUDAS PRIEST logo].

‘Unleashed In The East’ was the shit for me, and so to have that was… But I also remember thinking that singing was this thing that happened to me because of my involvement with Steve [Vai], because I never really set out to be a singer. I learned to sing because I was a guitar player and most of the singers I auditioned, I didn’t relate to. So I thought, ‘Okay, I’m gonna learn to sing until I don’t have to fucking sing anymore. And then, here we are, so many years later, where it’s kind of my deal. But, as a result of that, the technique that I had was so shoddy that had I gotten to a situation with that level of expectation, to sing like Rob Halford — dude, I’d be crucified.”

[via Blabbermouth]

Devin Townsend On The Possibility Of A Strapping Young Lad Reunion: It’s “Not Worth Sacrificing To Go Back To A Time When I Wasn’t Happy”

During a recent interview with The Metal Meltdown, Devin Townsend was asked about the possibility of a Strapping Young Lad reunion. He responded by saying it’s “not worth sacrificing to go back to a time when [he] wasn’t happy.”

Townsend said the following:

“The answer to that is… I’ve said it a thousand times, so I’m sure if there are people who really don’t know, they don’t care enough to pay attention.

I do understand the question, and I do understand why it’s asked — I really do. But I’ve gotta be careful with the answer because you don’t wanna… I think it’s easy to get so irritated by the question that you end up being flippant about it, and you end up being insulting to people when the question is coming from a place of people really, really like it and they really want it.

So I’ll say this: the same thing that made STRAPPING work so well when I was 25, whether or not you think ‘Lightwork’ is worth a shit or ‘The Puzzle’ is worth a shit, it’s the same process. So the same thing that yielded that is the same thing that yielded this. And the only reason STRAPPING existed back then is because I was being true to myself. It’s the only reason, because back then that was my truth.

The process of making this music is rooted in trying to unfuck myself as I get older, because when I was younger I had a lot of issues. So if people really love something that happened at any point in my career, whether or not it’s ‘Empath’ or STRAPPING or ‘Ziltoid’ or ‘Epicloud’ or anything, then my hope is that they would understand that the thing that they probably appreciated about it is it’s coming from a place of honesty. And if I can’t be honest about something, the thing that people will like about it will not be there. Absolutely. And I would prefer to be disliked for what I am than to be loved for what I’m no longer.

STRAPPING is a huge part of my life — was a huge part of my life — and I love all those guys and I still talk to them. However, the nature of what I did made it such that the lessons that I needed to learn from that period of my life were reflected in the content. And now it’s not a part of my life in a way that I can relate to, and more so it’s not a part of my life in a way that I have any desire to go back to.

There’s gonna be a certain amount of people that would hear that and they’d be, like, ‘Yeah, he’s said that before. I get it. I love the band, but I get it. I can respect that.’ There’s gonna be a certain amount of people that are just, like, ‘Fuck that guy. What he needs to do is do that ’cause it’s the only thing he’s ever done that’s worth a shit and everything else sucks. ‘ and there’s gonna be another part that just says, ‘STRAPPING who?’ But for me, brother, I’m just, like… As hard as this is to say, because it’s been such a weird couple of years, I’m pretty happy with where I’m at as a dude, and that’s not worth sacrificing to go back to a time when I wasn’t happy.”

[via Blabbermouth]

Bad Omens, Stray From The Path, And Devin Townsend Open Up About The Current State Of Touring And The Music Industry

A number of artists have shared their thoughts on the current state of touring and the music industry as a whole. Among them are Bad Omens, Craig Reynolds (Stray From The Path), and Devin Townsend, who held nothing back with regards to the harsh realities artists are facing.

Bad Omens said the following on Twitter after a venue decided to sell band-branded cocktails:

“That’s dope, artists still don’t get a cut from bar sales tho even if the venue gives cocktails cute little names after your songs, but still take 15-20% of touring artists’ gross merch sales every night. Nowhere To Go punch does sound delicious though, tip your bartenders. 🐸 🍹”

They also added:

“Just to be clear – we don’t want a cut of your bar sales. We just don’t want to give you 20% of the merchandise we design, pay for, manage, set up, carry, and sell ourselves because you gave us 24sq ft of floor space in your venue we sold out.”

Reynolds also commented in a series of tweets:

“streaming services pay nothing and everyone is cool with it. managers make their bands do dangerous snow drives and everyone is cool with it. ticketmaster has a monopoly on live music and everyone is cool with it. bands swap royalties for playlisting and everyone is cool with it.

venues take a giant merch cut and everyone is cool with it. record labels are more interested in viral videos everyone is cool with it. bands have 90% of their show on a laptop and everyone is cool with it. members of bands do unspeakable things and everyone is cool with it.

most record deals include merchandise now and everyone is cool with it. your favourite bands hire the same producer from LA to write all their songs and everyone is cool with it. i can think of 6 bands with an entire instrument on backing track and everyone is cool with it.

labels and booking companies are ticking bare minimum diversity boxes instead of making systemic change and everyone is cool with it. prominent and influential multi-platinum selling artists are being openly antisemitic and everyone is cool with it.

…and that concludes the list of why i am so very annoyed, almost all of the time.

i sound like a boomer. ignore this. i’m just entering my jaded musical unabomber arc

nsane the amount of people who read THE FIRST LINE and made their mind up about this tweet. this tweet is a very pointless and specific list of the reasons i’m usually annoyed, some relate to each other, most don’t.

because you like to take me very literally I should reiterate that it’s okay if you use streaming apps. and to use a laptop for your live show: just don’t cheat.

i do think a bassist on a backing track is lame and putting someone out of a job but i understand that sometimes it’s a money thing or like counterparts the guy they get is gonna quit anyway”

Bad Omens and Reynolds also had the following exchange:

For Townsend’s part, he told Metallerium the following [via Blabbermouth]:

“It’s gotten way worse. I don’t think it’s better at all, actually. Because the costs of touring now, with inflation and the cost of gasoline and diesel… Plus, over the course of the pandemic, we’ve lost a ton of really good venues. I’d say probably 50 percent of the workforce in touring has now left. ‘Cause what’s a guitar tech gonna do for two years? You have to get a job, right? And so the ones that are remaining, not only are they already spoken for with other bands, but they’re almost twice as expensive.

I saw this thing about Live Nation the other day, they’re taking 30 percent of merch sales from some of these venues. The costs of airlines have gone up. So artists, the ability to make money on tour is almost completely gone now — at least an artist on my level.

So, yes, it’s opened up again, but it’s 10 times as expensive. It’s, like, what do you do? Even little things like, okay, the hotels are more expensive; the food at the hotels [is] more expensive. So at the end of it, you’re touring for what? You’re touring ultimately so you can present your work to the people who care about your work, and that’s worth it to me.

But I think for anybody to think that it’s now easy again, you should investigate that, because I’m trying to set up tours for next year, and there’s no way to keep them within cost — there’s no way. And so you go out there and, like, well, we can’t have this vehicle; we can’t have this backline; we can’t have this production; we can’t have these lights.

And then if you show up at a place and the audience comes, they’re, like, ‘The show’s not good. There’s no lights. There’s no production.’ So what should you do? And I think a lot of musicians, their decision is, like, ‘Well, I’ll just stay home then and I’ll just create from home.’

I try to go out with acoustic now, because that way I can afford it. If I just show up with an acoustic guitar and sing for people, it’s better than nothing. But it’s still, like, man, it’s a complicated time, brother.”

[via The PRP]

Devin Townsend Premieres “Lightworker” Video, Announces Acoustic Livestream Event

Devin Townsend has premiered a new video for his new song “Lightworker.” This track is from his new album “Lightwork,” which will be released on November 4. Notably, Townsend will be celebrating the release of that effort with an acoustic livestream set on November 5 at 12:00pm PDT / 3:00pm EDT. The event, which also includes a fan Q&A, will be available on YouTube.

Townsend commented:

“Hey folks 🙂 track three from Lightwork is now up to bat… and this one is called ‘Lightworker‘ (ta da!)

This album is interesting to me in many ways, but mostly because of how unexpected it was. I’ve been doing interviews and there’s a lot of folks who are surprised at how it turned out, somehow they were expecting brutal music from me or something (frankly, I couldn’t imagine having the energy to go down that road after that last few years, but I can understand the desire for it) it’s just that Lightwork and The Puzzle were both completely unexpected for me, but as I am committed to following where it leads, I simply went as far into them both as I was able.

I just follow the creative flow where it leads, and I’m quite happy with that. To be honest, having started writing again it seems like it was a unique moment in time for me, so I hope you can see it for what it is and appreciate the energy for what it was meant to be.

Lightworker is a song based loosely around Richard Alpert (Ram Dass) who died a few years ago. His book ‘Be Here Now‘ was influential to me as a kid, and when I saw the documentary they made about him on Netflix (Going Home) I felt inspired to write a track in his memory. I reached out to the Ram Dass foundation and they allowed me to use the sample of his voice in the mid section. (Thank you 🙂

The video was made by the same team who did Spirits Will Collide, and they yet again pulled off a huge feat in limited time (Thanks guys 🙂 I wanted a story about a guy who is so attached to his past, and the pain of loss, that any time the ‘monsters’ of his past appear, he runs from it. As a result, he has to live the same dramas over and over again. It’s not until he stands and faces his fear that he can move past it. In this case he can help others by facing the monster and then Finally rest.

I hope you enjoy it, and I really appreciate the support. I hope your week is good, and I hope to see you at the Lightwork Streaming event on November 5th 🙂

Be well my friends,
Devin 🙂”

Devin Townsend Delays New Album “Lightwork” To November

Devin Townsend’s new album, “Lightwork,” has been delayed. The record will now be released on November 4. The following statement was issued:

“Due to an unforeseen manufacturing delay, the release of Devin‘s new album ‘Lightwork’ has been moved back one week to the 4th November 2022. We are incredibly sorry about this, but hope you can wait just one more week to experience Devin’s brilliant new record. To tide fans over, expect a brand new track to drop in the next two weeks…”

Devin Townsend Premieres New Song “Call Of The Void”

Devin Townsend has shared a promo video for his new song “Call Of The Void.” This track is from his new album “Lightwork,” which will be released on October 28.

Townsend commented:

“The concept of the song is based around the ‘call of the void’ as an analogy for intrusive thoughts. I first heard the term describing ‘the temptation to hurl yourself over the cliff when your driving a car’… or to ‘put your hand in the fire when you know you’ll get burned’ etc… thoughts that you know are wrong, but you fear that you won’t be able to control the impulses to deny it. The point being: often I feel we have a choice, and trying not to lose sight of that was very important to me during recent difficult times.

In terms of the visuals: All through lockdown, I really fell in love with ‘cabview train journeys’ that ‘Railway Cowgirl’ and others were posting on YouTube. Essentially, they are often full, first-person journeys to cold and distant places, far from the chaos of the world, with a sense of constant momentum really calmed me. Maybe being on tour for so many years is what made it a comfort to watch during lockdown, but in any event, I started writing with the videos playing in the background in the studio and so I thought it would be appropriate for this video.

(Thank you ‘Railway Cowgirl’ for the permission to use these clips. if while viewing this video you enjoy the footage, please visit her YouTube channel and check out all her wonderful content.)

In regards to the ‘story’ of these three videos, the character is now on the train headed to where the Lighthouse is located.

So there you go… song two. It’s about not letting the chaos of the world shake you. Trying to stay calm at our center to try and get through it all.”

Devin Townsend Premieres New Song “Moonpeople”

Devin Townsend has premiered a new song titled “Moonpeople.” This track is from his new album “Lightwork,” which will be released on October 28.

Townsend commented:

“Hey all 🙂 this is Devin. Welcome to my newest album ‘Lightwork‘. The last few years have been a lot, and this is the music that I wrote during that time. In essence, ‘Lightwork‘ is a bit more of a ‘song’ oriented album. A bit more direct and simpler than a lot of what I’ve been doing lately. After ‘Empath‘ and ‘The Puzzle‘, things kind of swung back in the direction of more traditional arrangements for ‘Lightwork‘.

Lyrically, It kind of hints at the struggles of the last few years but with an eye on putting the pieces back together again. We chose ‘Moonpeople‘ as the first of three video releases from this project, The three videos share a theme, so I think that’ll work.

‘Moonpeople‘ is the first song on ‘Lightwork‘ and acts as a sort of mission statement for the album. Post pandemic… kids are now teens… 50 years old, who am I now? Beyond any platitudes or delusions, who am I now that the smoke is clearing and what do I want to do, and who do I want to be, moving forward? The term ‘Moonpeople’, in my mind, refers to those in society that kind of ‘watch’ things rather than being directly involved in it.

Maybe the Moonpeople are more introverted rather than extroverted? In any case, it functions as a song on the album that will set the stage for the dynamic nature of the material that follows it. So here you go. Song one.”

Devin Townsend To Release New Album “Lightwork” In October

Devin Townsend will be releasing his new album, “Lightwork,“ on October 28. Pre-orders are expected to launch soon. Notably, select limited edition copies will include a bonus companion album called “Nightwork.”

On another note, Townsend also has the following European/UK dates booked:

02/21 Oslo, NOR – Sentrum Scene
02/27 Stockholm, SWE – Cirkus
02/28 Gothenburg, SWE – Pustervik
03/01 Copenhagen, DEN – Amager Bio
03/03 Tilburg, NET – 013
03/04 Cologne, GER – Carlswerk Victoria
03/05 Lille, FRA – Le Splendid
03/07 Leipzig, GER- WERK 2
03/08 Frankfurt, GER – Batschkapp
03/10 Zurich, SWI – X-tra
03/11 Munich, GER – Backstage Werk
03/13 Dornbirn, AUT – Conrad Sohm
03/14 Milan, ITA – Live Club
03/16 Barcelona, SPA – Razzmatazz
03/17 Madrid, SPA – La Riviera
03/18 Lisbon, POR – Cineteatro Capitólio
03/20 Toulouse, FRA – Le Bikini
03/21 Marseille, FRA – Le Moulin
03/22 Clermont Ferrand, FRA – La Coopérative De Mai
03/24 Brussels, BEL – Ancienne Belgique
03/25 Stuttgart, GER – LKA Longhorn
03/26 Paris, FRA – L’Olympia
03/28 Bexhill-on-Sea, UK – De La Warr Pavilion
03/29 Bristol, UK – Academy
03/31 Manchester, UK – Academy
04/01 Nottingham, UK – Rock City
04/02 Newcastle, UK – University
04/04 Wolverhampton, UK – KK’s Steel Mill
04/05 Norwich, UK – UEA